Not having been able to persuade Russia and Iran for ceasefire, Ankara is suffering from the impending military operation. Whether Ankara will overcome this strain will be an indicator in which direction she will advance in the Syrian riddle.

Hilal Köylü

The concern about the fact that almost all of 3 million civilians in the region would move towards the Turkish border in case of a probable operation is going to be told in the special summit with Germany and France. What is surprising is Russia’s attendance to this summit.

“Well then, what will happen?”; Ankara has been discussing the bilateral and regional relations foremost with the USA and Russia for months. Is the release of Pastor Brunson, who is being detained at home, and the American-Turkish relations that have been locked to Pastor’s release really the major reason for the economic crisis? Above all when Russia’s again and again repeated intimate efforts to draw in Turkey is taken into consideration, despite Ankara’s insistence, why has not Russia approved the ceasefire in Idlib? Why can Tehran barely reassure Turkey, even though Ankara has been antagonizing the USA’s embargo on Iran? Why do the relations fail?

The impending operation to Idlib by the Syrian and Asad troops has just come at these questions with all their heaviness. Ankara is being preoccupied with the problems such that with whom she should cooperate in confidence and how she can overcome the fire circle in her borders. The previous questions will maybe later dealt with, they will be handled for detailed answers. Now everybody has in their minds that dark question of Idlib: “If there occurs a big wave of migration during the military operation, where will all these people be dwelled?”

THE CONCERN ABOUT A BIG WAVE OF MIGRATION

President Erdogan who, in Tehran Summit, frankly uttered that Ankara would fail to withstand a big wave of migration is relying on the supports especially by Germany and France. He was not wrong. German Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas, who has recently visited Turkey, emphasized that Ankara and Berlin should have cooperate in case of a migration wave. On September 28-29, Erdogan will too have a visit of several occasions to Germany, including a meeting with the Chancellor Merkel in Berlin. Ankara has been informed about the Berlin’s attitude that a migration wave that will come from Idlib should be kept beyond the borders of Turkey. The conditions for keeping the big migration wave beyond the borders will probably be clarified in Erdogan’s Berlin visit. Up until that date, different options will likely be on agenda.

THE SYRIA SUMMIT IN ISTANBUL

Just after the Tehran Summit, Erdogan’s statement that another Syria summit will take place in Istanbul with the participation of Turkey, Russia, France and Germany quartet on September 14 has aroused attentions. The summit will take place among the ministers in bureaucratic level, but Ankara is ready for a probable summit of leaders after that of the ministers. But what is interesting, even surprising for everybody, is the Russia’s attendance to Istanbul summit. Since, in Tehran summit, despite all her efforts not to cease the dialog with Ankara anyway, she denied the ceasefire demand of Ankara, what will Russia do in Istanbul Summit? According to first information that has arrived Ankara, Russia will ease the operations of Western allies to prevent the big migration wave. That’s, Russia will inform her Western allies about the progression in Idlib operations and what she will do to protect civilians. As a matter of fact, Russia intends to finish the operation until end of the year. We will all see how far Russia will succeed in moving away the Western block from the USA in the context of this operation.

IF THE DIPLOMACY WORKS

So, what will the USA do? Will the USA be just a mere spectator of Russia’s Idlib operation? While we are formulating these questions, the Russia-originated news that the USA has already bombed the region is coming one after another. We will of course look at the details of the news; but President Donald Trump has already responded Russia: “If you bomb, we will, too”. Again and again we face the question: “So, what will happen?” Seven years was left behind in the Syrian civil war. The world has mostly witnessed the struggle between the USA and Russia. Societies has mostly worried about the emigrants, they tested themselves in doing something for the emigrants. It looks like, a new phase of the war between “the super powers” is about to be opened. Supporting now the unity of Syria and willing to sweep away the terror from the region, Turkey does not anymore have to ask herself the question “where did I wrong”. Almost all actors have told to Turkey what they have to say: It is obvious that the Asad regime will be remnant in Syria. The diplomacy should work, all the actors in the region, including Asad, should be in an active diplomacy. In that case we can easily overcome the concerns about the big migration wave. Then there will remain time for step by step solutions to diplomatic problems troubling Turkey.

Çeviren: Aydın Ördek